Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner

Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner Studio

“With Jackson there was quiet solitude. Just to sit and look at the landscape. An inner quietness. After dinner, to sit on the back porch and look at the light. No need for talking. For any kind of communication.” -Lee Krasner

(Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in the studio, 1949)

Love and Work

“In 1942, Pollock met Lee Krasner, a Jewish contemporary artist and an established painter in her own right, at a party. She later visited Pollock at his studio and was impressed with his art. They soon became romantically involved.

“Around this time, Peggy Guggenheim began expressing interest in Pollock’s paintings. During a meeting she had with the painter Pete Norman, he saw some of Pollock’s paintings lying on the floor and commented that Pollock’s art was possibly the most original American art he had seen. Guggenheim immediately put Pollock on contract.

“Krasner and Pollock married in October 1945, and with the help of a $2,000 loan from Guggenheim, bought a farmhouse in the Springs area of East Hampton, on Long Island. Guggenheim gave Pollock a stipend to work, and Krasner dedicated her time to helping promote and manage his artwork. Pollock was happy to be in the country again, surrounded by nature, which had a major impact on his projects. He was energized by his new surroundings and by his supportive wife. In 1946, he converted the barn to a private studio, where he continued to develop his “drip” technique, the paint literally flowing off of his tools and onto the canvases that he typically placed on the floor.” -Biography

In Depth:

WATCH: Pollock
Starring: Ed Harris & Marcia Gay Harden
“POLLOCK traces the turbulent life of the well-known artist, Jackson Pollock. Although his wife, LeeKrasner, is dedicated to carving Pollock's name into art history, Pollock finds himself in a downward spiral that threatens to destroy not only his marriage and promising career but, perhaps, even his life.” …(more).

BOOK: Jackson Pollock
by Ellen G. Landau
“How did Jackson Pollock become a cult figure for the Beat Generation? And what caused his reputation to continue to soar? This compelling and original Abrams classic, now back in print, locates the artist in the continuum of his times, recreating the social and cultural milieu of New York in the 1940s and 1950s. With extensive knowledge of Pollock’s habits (much of it gained through interviews), his reading, his conversation, and the exhibitions he visited, the author retraces many of the far-flung sources of Pollock’s work. A wealth of comparative photographs that illustrate paintings by artists Pollock admired further explains the work of this complex, tragic, and immeasurably influential figure. Pollock’s big, bold canvases are reproduced in five colors to convey the brilliance of his network of tones.” …(more)

WATCH: Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?
directed by: Harry Moses
"Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? is a documentary following a woman named Teri Horton, a 73-year-old former long-haul truck driver from California, who purchased a painting from a thrift shop for $5, only later to find out that it may be a Jackson Pollock painting; she had no clue at the time who Jackson Pollock was, hence the name of the film. "According to an interview from the film, Horton purchased the painting from a California thrift shop as a gift for a friend who was feeling depressed. Horton thought the bright colors were cheery, but when the dinner-table-sized painting proved too large to fit into her friend's trailer, Horton set it out among other items at a yard sale, where a local art teacher spotted it and suggested that the work could have been painted by Pollock due to the similarity to his action painting technique. At one point Horton and her friend decided the painting would be good for target practice, but they never got around to trying that activity.[2] The film depicts Horton's attempts to authenticate and sell the painting as an original work by Pollock. Its authenticity was doubtful, because the painting was purchased at a thrift store, is unsigned, and is without provenance.In this documentary, veteran filmmaker Harry Moses exposes the controversy in the world of high priced artwork. He paints a vivid picture of how art is bought and sold in America."(more)...
BOOK: Jackson Pollock, An American Saga
by Steven Naifeh
Jackson Pollock was more than a great artist, he was a creative force of nature. He changed not only the course of Western art, but our very definition of "art." He was the quintessential tortured genius, an American Vincent van Gogh, cut from the same unconforming cloth as his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway and James Dean--and tormented by the same demons; a "cowboy artist" who rose from obscurity to take his place among the titans of modern art, and whose paintings now command millions of dollars. 

Here, for the first time, is the life behind that extraordinary achievement--the disjointed childhood, the sibling rivalry, the sexual ambiguity, and the artistic frustration out of which both artist and art developed. 

Based on more than 2,000 interviews with 850 people, Jackson Pollock is the first book to explore the life of a great artist with the psychological depth that marks the best biographies of literary and political figures. In eight years of research the authors have uncovered previously unknown letters and documents, gained access to medical and psychiatric records, and interviewed scores of the artist's friends and acquaintances whose stories had never been told. They were also the first biographers in twenty years to benefit from the cooperation of Pollock's widow, Lee Krasner... (more)